A self guided walking holiday in the Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria. Visit the impressive Buinovo Gorge, then hike to the Eagle’s Eye viewing platform offering spectacular views of the Rhodopean Range. Trace the footsteps of Orpheus through the mighty Devil’s Throat cave in the Tirgrad Gorge, said to be the mythical Hall of Hades, walk to Chaira Lakes and then take in the splendour of the Canyon of Waterfalls before moving to the comfort of your spa hotel. Accommodation during our Rhodope Mountains Walking Holiday is in hand-picked 3 or 4-star hotels (spa facilities available on Days 5 and 6).
3 and 4-star hotels and family-run guesthouses, as indicated in the itinerary. Some of them will have spa facilities. All places have been carefully hand-picked by us, and we monitor their quality regularly. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide to you exact accommodation details upon booking confirmation.
The closest airport is Plovdiv. Ryanair currently has direct flights to Plovdiv couple of times per week from London Stansted. Alternatively, many more flights are available from the UK and many EU cities to Sofia. From London to Sofia there are numerous direct flights each day with Bulgaria Air, British Airways, Easy Jet, and Wizzair. There is public transport to/from Sofia, or we can arrange a private transfer.
The Rhodope Mountains Discovery holiday is appropriate for regular walkers and requires a reasonable level of fitness. The trip covers an average of 14 km (5.2 hours) of hiking per day, all of them on the mellow slopes and rolling hills of the Rhodope Mountains. Average daily elevation gain is 506 m (read more about difficulty grades).
During the Rhodope Mountains Walking Holiday you will walk mostly on unpaved timber roads and hiking trails; some sections may include walking on asphalt. Most of the trails are well-marked and signposted. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
This trip is available from May until October.
Weather is best in June – September. As July and August are the busiest months, it is preferable that you book as early as possible.
The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your vacation on any time in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking.
The climate in the Western Rhodopes is temperate continental with an average 200 days of sunshine a year. It is influenced both by the colder air coming from the north and by the warmer breeze from the Mediterranean. Depending on location and altitude, temperatures vary, but, in the May-September period, the daily averages are 20 – 25C. Spring and autumn are pleasant in the Rhodopes with cold nights and occasional rain. High summer daytime temperatures are rarely too hot as even though temperatures can occasionally reach 30C, the mountains and forests remain cooler, dropping at night to 12-18C. The Rhodopes are recognised as having some of the purest air in Europe.
We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 25 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. We will include more detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.
Arrive in the charming city of Plovdiv, visit the ancient Roman amphitheatre and stroll the beautiful streets of the old town. Ryan Air flies directly to Plovdiv; if you fly to Sofia, Plovdiv is easily accessible by train or bus (c. 2 hours, see travel notes).
Accommodation: a 3-star hotel close to city centre and old town.